Thursday, August 26, 2010

Excuse Me While I Pound My Head Against the Wall

We are starting over on our Bradley Fighting Vehicle replacement program:

The industry source said the move was driven by internal differences over the requirements for the new vehicles, saying service officials "simply cannot agree on the performance requirements, and things like how they should be prioritized."

The source said the Red Team told Army officials they had two options: upgrade the existing ground vehicle fleet; or start over, a move that the source said could mean it will be seven to 10 years before the first GCV is delivered.

Since the replacement concept was reaching Abrams proportions in weight, this is understandable.

The problem is the Army wants a vehicle to do it all--carry a full squad (8 or 10, I don't know which, instead of the Bradley's truncated 6-man squad) with the firepower and protection to fight in a high-intensity environment and toss in a v-shaped hull while you are at it so it will function like an MRAP in IED country. And 12 cup holders, too. Is that too much to ask?

Why, yes. Yes it is. This is basically the same issue that is sinking/blowing up the Marine Corps' expeditionary fighting vehicle (EFV) that will take a couple squads of Marines from their amphibious warfare ship over the horizon to the beach, and then advance inland a few hundred miles in a mechanized onslaught without bothering to stop. Is that all? And a v-shaped hull, too, so the expensive thing won't blow up from running over a slurry of fuel oil and fertilizer set off by a garage door opener.

Come on, Army. Do this right or face the same problem the Marines have now with their project. Don't try to cram every mission into one hull and we'll be far better off. And be able to afford the vehicles.